The corn lecture has become a kind of rite of passage for all candidates for chancellor.

In this annual speech, delivered at Bayes Business School in the City of London, Nigel Lawson set out his thoughts on economic reform in the 1980s.

It was where George Osborne presented his plan for his first 50 days in office, in which Gordon Brown explained the economic background to his policies.

In short, it’s a very big deal.

Money blog: Strong decline in inflation predicted

So the mere fact that Rachel Reeves who gave this lecture is, in a sense, part of the story of her rise. If the polls are to be believed, she will shortly be the next Chancellor of Britain (believe it or not, the first female Chancellor of Britain).

This is her moment on stage to explain the economic fundamentals of her reign.

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Labour’s shadow chancellor sat down with Sky’s Ed Conway

So in some ways it feels a bit rude to accuse her of providing too little information about the policies she will implement when she reaches number 11. The corn lecture is all about technocracy, not big spending promises.

And on the technocratic front, this talk certainly made a difference. In the Ministry of Finance, the role of the business and development department will be strengthened, a new task for the Office of Budget Responsibility to take into account the importance of investments.

And she confirmed in the clearest words yet that she won’t change anything Bank of EnglandThe 2% inflation target will be met – and that its fiscal rules will closely resemble the government’s current ones.

A Tory-sounding speech

But as you can see from the last two points, reading the talk as a whole it is difficult to predict a dramatic change from the current nature of government policy.

While the shadow chancellor speaks approvingly of the US Democrats’ subsidy schemes to encourage green investment, there is no sign the UK will do anything similar. In fact, Ms. Reeves did this just recently canceled her plan to increase the government’s annual green investment to £28 billion a year.

Perhaps the easiest accusation one can make against Ms. Reeves is that her plan sounds deceptively similar to the current administration’s.

In fact, the three priorities from Rishi Sunak’s own 2022 Corn talk – encouraging businesses to invest more, improving technical skills and cementing Britain’s position as the world’s most innovative economy – all feature in Ms Reeves’ own talk.

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Labor supports tax cuts

Now, on the one hand, one might reasonably expect journalists who like news to complain about the lack of big news in this speech.

On the other hand, however, it is not clear whether Labour’s policy plans are in any way proportionate to the scale of the challenge it faces.

Furthermore, George Osborne committed in his Corn Lecture to an emergency budget within 50 days of taking office and a spending review shortly thereafter. However, Ms Reeves still needs to confirm that she will have an emergency budget in place shortly after the next election.

Any political action before the election?

At this stage, many people are rightly wondering whether Labor will pursue any significant policy action before the election – particularly given that the Conservatives have just stolen their plan to abolish non-dom status in this month’s budget.

In fact, Labor has plans for an emergency budget within 100 days of the election and also a spending review.

But they are wary of talking about it too soon – both because of the risk of market instability and because they are bracing for a long campaign and a late election.

Labor strategists believe that at this point in the election cycle – with many months still likely to remain before an election – it makes much more sense to emphasize stability and common sense rather than unearth tidbits of policy.

They suspect that any measures they announce are likely to be stolen by the conservatives – and perhaps they are right.

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